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Lotus’s new sports car will be easier to drive daily

Lotus wants a little more civility to its sports cars. Plus, of course, electricity

Pound for pound, Lotus has traditionally punched way above its class for dynamics and handling. Of that, there can be no doubt. Where it’s looked a little leaky is in tangibles like build quality and driver convenience.

That’s something it wants to address, and quickly, too. Speaking to TopGear.com, Lotus boss Phil Popham said his company’s new sports car – which we’ll see at the end of 2020, ready for sale in 2021 – will not only “change the volume position of the business”, but also be, quite simply, easier to live with.

“It’s going to be true to the DNA of Lotus – it’s still a drivers’ car, with great dynamics and performance – but it will also address some of the barriers to entry.

“By that I mean ergonomics – ingress and egress – connectivity and so forth, that will attract a wider range of prospects without in any way diluting the car’s performance. As we start to develop our infrastructure around the world for volume growth for the future, we’ll need a car that’ll appeal to a wider audience, as soon as possible. But also one that delivers everything that’s Lotus. A car you can live with on a day to day basis.”

He notes how this new sports car will be within the “price segments” Lotus currently operates in. In time, Popham reckons Lotus might be able to sell between 7,000 to 10,000 cars a year, but only if the company moves into different segments. More of which you can read about here. “We’re focused on our sports car derivatives at the moment, but there’s no doubt we can grow beyond that.”

Presumably then, this new sports car platform – that’ll make the new sports car easier to get in and out of – will have room for electricity, especially considering the Type 130 EV hypercar Lotus is planning on building?

“Electrification will definitely be part of our future,” Popham said. “Beyond the car I talked about next year (the new sports car), I expect all Lotus cars to have an all-electric version. It’s not the only propulsion system we’re working on, but electrification is absolutely part of the future in any segment we go into.

“We’re still about dynamics and lightweighting,” he adds. “And you have to do that with the weight of batteries, but that’s what Lotus Engineering can bring to the Geely Group.”

So, a long road ahead. “We have resting on our shoulders the complete rejuvenation of a famous brand,” Popham notes. “That’s why we all signed up.”

First stop, an easier sports car to live with…

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